It was hard to say goodbye to our good friends and neighbors, Elder and Sister Knight. We had a farewell dinner for them Monday with all the senior couples in Suva, enjoyed some last moments together during the week, then packed their suitcases into our car (using every inch of car space) and took them to the airport Friday night. Unfortunately there was a little bit of a glitch: their tickets had been reserved but not paid for, so they couldn’t check in. Pres Layton saved the day by calling Salt Lake, and with fifteen minutes to spare they received tickets. Just getting on a plane would have been way too boring — now they have a story to tell:)
The Knight’s replacements and our new neighbors are Elder and Sister Edmunds, shown here at the open market. We had fun taking them shopping downtown Suva (in the rain, of course). They even got to see a parade put on before the change of guards at the presidential residence — it was quite the day.
Elder and Sister Clark also arrived this week. They are Humanitarian missionaries, and as part of LDS Charities, will work in the community promoting diabetes awareness and help local agencies solve problems related to it. With an average of an amputation here every twelve hours, they are sorely needed!
Wednesday we went as usual to do baptisms at the temple. Elder Whitehead and Veta sat at the side of the font as witnesses, and as they watched, Elder Whitehead pointed things out, teaching Veta how baptize. Then Veta took his turn, and performed a baptism for the first time in his life. Those are moments we’ll treasure forever.
And talk about special: it isn’t often you get to help prepare a missionary, send him off, then see him in the field! Today we attended church in Navua where Sumeet is serving a six week mission as a “Ward Missionary” while he waits the arrival of his call as a full-time missionary. He’s doing a great job, and it was good to see him.
We love visiting the members in Navua. Some come to church riding on “transports.” I think I’ll put riding in one of those on my bucket list. This group was obviously happy about the ride!
The young woman who taught our YSA Sunday School class today told us that she was introduced to the restored gospel by her two brothers. At the institute, we see Oni with her younger brother who she introduced to the gospel, and who is about to be baptized. In Jeremiah 3 the Lord says he will “Take you one of a city, and two of a family, and I will bring you to Zion.” It’s as if we are seeing one way that is being fulfilled here right before our eyes. This is a great work, and we are thankful to be involved in it!